Welch, WV: The third annual WV Coalfields Cookoff will be held on June 9-10, 2023, in Welch, WV. Hosted by the City of Welch and CoalTown, USA, the festival is free and open to the public. It will feature the WV State BBQ Championships, sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS), for pro and backyard BBQ Cook Teams, live music, vendors, family activities, a beer garden, a BBQ Tasting, and an ATV show.
The 2023 festival has recently received several recognitions for its growth and success in the past three years. Most notably, it has been selected recently for a Smokin’ with Smithfield BBQ Grant. The nationally competitive award is given to BBQ festivals that focus on being well-organized, successfully promoted, family friendly, and providing a great experience for BBQ teams and attendees. The grant money will be used to increase the prize money paid to the Coalfields Cookoff winners and to attract additional competition teams. The 2023 prize pot will be over $13,000 thanks to Smithfield donation.
Andrea Ball, festival organizer for the City of Welch, says the grant will go a long way in supporting the festival goals and growing the Coaltown, USA branding efforts. “The WV Coalfields Cookoff is about showcasing our incredible WV hospitality. We want the best BBQ cookers to attend, and the additional prize money will help encourage them to add us to their competition schedule. Our goal is for the off-road enthusiasts to leave the trails and come downtown, visitors to drive over from Kentucky to spend the weekend for some BBQ, and, most importantly, locals to come out and enjoy the fun things happening in their own backyard. The Smithfield Grant funding will assist us in achieving these objectives, she continued.
The State of West Virginia and the McDowell County Convention and Visitors Bureau have both expressed support for the event. The Coalfield’s Cookoff was officially proclaimed the WV State Barbeque Championship by Governor Jim Justice, and in January, the McDowell CVB gave the event a grant for advertising that it will utilize to further regional publicity efforts.
The Coalfields Cookoff has grown over the past three years, according to Mayor Harold McBride, Sr. “We’ve worked hard to build an event that draws everyone,” he says. There will be a live band on Friday night, arts and crafts, food vendors, a beer garden that benefits the fire department, and ATV activities in addition to the BBQ Cookoff! The news about our outstanding BBQ festival has spread. I was told a BBQ judge from New Jersey just registered for the second year in a row, so the secret is out about our wonderful BBQ festival! I invite the public to come out to see what we have to offer in the hopes that they will enjoy it so much that they return for all CoalTown, USA’s events throughout the year.
The WV Coalfields Cookoff is free and open to the public, but for those attendees who want to experience the BBQ cooked by competitors from several different states, a BBQ Tasting Ticket is available for $10 and is half price for veterans and first responders. Attendees can try several variations of pulled pork on Saturday afternoon and vote on their favorite. Businesses and Organizations interested in sponsorship or volunteering should visit the website or contact the festival director. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Welch Volunteer Fire Department. Attendees are encouraged to follow @wvcoalfieldscookoff on Facebook or Instagram to receive additional information and timely updates and visit our website at www.wvcoalfieldscookoff.com.